Remembering Steve Irwin

Today marks the 7 year anniversary of the death of a man that I truly admired both as a conservationist and as a passionate lover of wildlife.  Steve Irwin, commonly called "the Crocodile Hunter," died after his heart was pierced by a stingray's barb on September 4, 2006.  I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the horrible news.  I had just returned home from an Iraq deployment some 2 weeks earlier and on that fateful day I was doing what I loved, hunting frogs and snakes with my good friend Zach Orr in the eastern part of North Carolina.  Zach was looking for eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and I was looking for tiny grass frogs.  We had a good day searching for wildlife, although we didn't find the diamondbacks Zach hoped to see.

Steve Irwin came on the scene when I was in middle school and it gave me validation for the passions I already had.  I remember watching his show in awe because for the first time I saw someone, an adult, doing the things I loved and it was okay.  His passion was infectious, his enthusiasm was contagious, and his self-taught knowledge of all things wild was refreshing.  He learned from the classroom of nature and clearly knew his subject well.  When I heard the devastating news about his passing when I returned from my snake hunt it was met with disbelief.  How many times had we heard this before, it seemed every couple of weeks some rumor would surface about Steve being eaten by a Croc or bitten by a tiger snake; but a stingray?  No way!  Sadly, the rumors were true and after the initial shock of it I remember feeling this huge void inside of me.  Like I had truly lost a friend, a mentor, and teacher.  I remember sobbing like a family member had died.  I still feel sad when I watch his shows online to this day.

 

Steve's love of both people and wildlife was translated through TV screens all over the world.  Whether he was catching snakes in Australia, building zoos in Southeast Asia or mingling with villagers in India, Steve was happy.  His smile lit up our living room as we watched his show, his laugh warmed our hearts and his love for what he did challenged us to find something to be passionate about.  Although I'm sad to see Steve gone, I am encouraged to hopefully one day have some similar level of influence in the world.

My heart has always been to take the passions God has given me to reach a world searching for that light.  Steve's influence on my life is hopefully evident in the Catching Creation episodes that we make.  If it wasn't for that influence, the format and style of not only my show, but many many other wildlife shows wouldn't exist today.  His up close and personal documentary method has been a formula that many have imitated over the years but none have duplicated.  Although I realize Catching Creation pales in comparison to the Crocodile Hunter, I pray that one day we will be on par with the example set by Steve Irwin.  What are you passionate about?  What are you doing with that passion?

Check out this OLD episode from the early days of Catching Creation:

 

 

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Snakes In The Church!!!!

If I had a dollar for every weird look, awkward pause on the phone and email that went unanswered regarding my particular brand of ministry I think I would at least be able to buy a new snake...  I absolutely love what I do.  Somehow God has allowed me to combine my two passions into a job that really doesn't seem like a job at all.  I get to do what I love, how many people can honestly say that?  God is growing this ministry exponentially all of the time and I get to experience more and more things that I otherwise wouldn't get to experience.  The draw back is that most people don't share my love for ALL of God's creation.  I get asked to leave on occasion due to my scaly ministry partners, people often gasp or run out of the building when I pull out Rosie the rather large red tailed boa constrictor.

  I see the faces of parents grimace when I talk about the hognose snake's toxic saliva and cane toad's poison glands (both of which are harmless to us!) but the best part of what I do involves the joy on the faces of children when fear is replaced with wonder.  And in the end even the most squeamish of spectators is at least intrigued.

You see I firmly believe that God created everything inherently good in the beginning.  Sometimes it may take a moment for us to realize the goodness of say venomous snakes (which I do NOT use in presentations!), but God is good and so is his creation.

The curse of sin obviously changed the nature of everything that God created BUT the hope is that we can still see the good in everything and give God the glory for it.  My job is one part evangelist and one part conservationist. God has entrusted us with some pretty awesome natural resources and I think he takes pleasure in our responsible stewardship of said resources.  At a very basic level if I can illustrate the unconditional love of our heavenly Father and explain the effects of sin, separation caused by the curse and redemption in Jesus Christ and that snakes (and other creepy creations) aren't evil; then I have done my job.  My heart is to teach you, your child and anyone else that God not only loves you but he has a plan for your life and wants you to be made into a new creation.

 Jesus desires a relationship with you and it all started in that garden both before and after the temptation that came in the serpentine form.  After saying all of that I sincerely hope you will consider having me at your church, public or private school, vbs, summer camp, youth group, family service or really anywhere that has a captive audience and wouldn't mind my animal ambassadors.  Thanks for your prayers and support from the bottom of my heart!

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Are You Patient Like An Alligator?

Are You Patient Like An Alligator?

Have you ever watched an alligator move ever so slowly while stalking its prey?  They seem to have a large measure of patience while gradually inching closer and closer to their target.  Some will even lay on the bottom of the swamp with their mouth open and patiently wait for an easy meal like a fish to swim into their toothy trap.  Then just at the right time SNAP!  Their jaws will lock down on the meal they have been waiting all day for.  The end result of their wait is the reward they were hoping for, a meal.

Romans 8:24-25 says, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”  As believers we are waiting patiently in expectation of the return of Jesus.  We believe He is who He says he is and live our lives accordingly.  The reward for our faith and patience is an eternity in Heaven with our creator.  Just like the alligator waits in anticipation of his next meal, we as believers wait in expectation for the Lord.  Are you patient like an alligator?

Alligator

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This Is Why I Do What I Do!

Check out this awesome promo and testimony video from Channing Guest down in Macon Ga.  I will be speaking at his church, Christ Chapel in Macon, GA on May 19 and at Pine Forest Baptist that evening.  Invite your friends and come experience the wonder of God's creation!  It's such an encouragement to see that this ministry is impacting lives both young and old for the sake of the kingdom.  Isn't God great!  I am humbled and honored that he took the time to make this video and blessed that the Lord set it all up.  It's hard not to have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I think about what this ministry can accomplish for the sake of the Gospel.  YOU are special and YOU are loved and I want you to know that in Jesus name! 

Seeing lives changed for Jesus and being a positive influence in a world littered with filth is why I do what I Do.  My prayer is that the Lord will continue to use me as an effective minister of his Gospel.  I'm so thankful that of all people the Lord chose me, transformed me and can use me for his glory!

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Catching Creation Highlight Reel

SUBSCRIBE-Like-Share This is a video compilation of Catching Creation from the Volume 1 and Volume 2 DVD for use as promotional material in churches as well as a recap of some old and new footage from years past. Enjoy

 

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Catching Creation @ Fort Caswell

I got the opportunity to speak at Southport Christian Academy, Shoreline Baptist Church and Southport Baptist Church in the Oak Island/Southport NC area on the coast. It was an awesome trip and lots of fun! Great school and churches! We got to visit Fort Caswell and several beaches, not a bad way to spend the weekend!

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Cape Fear Serpentarium Visit

This week I got the chance to visit the Cape Fear Serpentarium in Wilmington, NC.  It's an amazing facility in a downtown setting with tons of elaborate set ups and wonderful snakes and various other reptiles.

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To Check Out The Cape Fear Serpentarium visit their website: www.Capefearserpentarium.com They are located at 20 Orange Street Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 762-1669

 

Thank You From Catching Creation

I decided to go hiking at one of my favorite local spots off of Reynolda Rd in Winston-Salem and test out my new GoPro Hero 3. I hope you enjoy it and THANK YOU for all of your support!

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Cypress Knees And Praying Trees

I got the privilege to preach down in S.C. at 3 great churches. This video is from Great Swamp Baptist Church and the "great swamp" that sits behind it. I talked about the importance of a foundation in prayer and that through prayer Jesus gives us stability to weather any storm. SUBSCRIBE

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Catching Creation Presentation @ Mint Hill Community Church

This is what an average Catching Creation presentation looks like. I brought a western hognose snake, 4 varieties of corn snakes, cane toad, red footed tortoise and a boa constrictor. Some of the scriptures used in the program include:Job 12:7-10, Genesis 1, Genesis 3, Romans 5, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 6:10-20, Philippians 2, Ezekiel 33, 1 Corinthians 15 and etc

Catching Creation Presentation @ Mint Hill Community Church in Charlotte NC on November 25, 2012

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Uwharrie Bigfoot Sighting!

I took a trip down to Uwharrie National Forest today with my good friend Robert and we decided to scout out some camp sites for an upcoming event he is hosting. While in the woods we decided to look for the elusive Uwharrie Big Foot...Here's what we found.

 

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Sparrows don’t worry, do you?

The other day as I was sitting outside on the patio of a local Starbucks reading I kept noticing the cute little sparrows chirping and hopping around.  My eyes were immediately transfixed on one little male that was joyfully scarfing down some breadcrumbs that had fallen between the cracks on the bricks.  As my eyes were locked on his mid afternoon meal consumption the thought hit me.  What if our faith in God and his provision is just like following breadcrumbs.  I know for me personally it seems that outside of the Lord providing the next crumb we wouldn’t even have breadcrumbs to eat.  I am constantly battling with my lack of faith in the provision of our heavenly Father but as this little sparrow reminded me, faith sometimes just looks like chasing breadcrumbs and believing there will be more crumbs tomorrow.

Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  When I find myself worrying about provision I have to remind myself that the birds are provided for daily and they sing God’s praises all day long.  They seem to know something that I have yet to grasp, that is our Father really does love us and has our best interest at heart and WILL take care of us.

Jesus affirms that again in Matthew 10:29-31Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  Jesus knows what you are struggling with and what your needs are, he even knows how many hairs are on your head.  He loves you enough to know all the specifics so next time you start to worry, remember that he will take care of the sparrows but loves and cares for you even more.

 

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

Busy and Blessed!

I just wanted to give everyone an update on everything that has been going on lately.  God has been doing great things!  Its been a little over a month in this faith free fall and I can honestly say that God is really providing for us more than ever.  I was able to film a DVD for a great Christian comedian named Renea Henderson at Crossroads Baptist Church and that was a huge blessing for everyone involved.  Be sure to look for her DVD and more information about the Church here:  http://www.crossroadbaptist.org It seems like since I left my job as a video editor that I have been filming and editing videos more than ever now.  I made another simple music video for Christian hip hop artist "Kid Prince" and we got to play around with the green screen and it turned out quite nicely and it is sure to bless and encourage those who watch it.  You can check it out here:  Kid Prince "Amen"  

You can also download the new MixTape from Kid Prince here:  http://noisetrade.com/kidprincetr

I was privileged to visit the Creation Museum a few weeks back and got to film Rick Teepen from "Snakes Alive" and make a DVD to help support his ministry.  You should be able to find them on his website very soon.  If you are in the Cincinnati, Ohio area I definitely recommend you check out the Creation Museum as well as Rick Teepen's ministry.  You can find out more information about Rick here:  http://snakesalive.vpweb.com  

The Lord has been opening quite a few doors and it is exciting to see what has been going on lately.  I have been blessed with quite a few opportunities to speak in schools, full congregations, youth groups and children's church programs lately and I am thanking God for every opportunity to speak His word.  Just last night I was blessed to be able to speak at Gospel Baptist Church in Greensboro NC and will be speaking in Martinsville, VA and Elkin, NC this Sunday and from there I will spend almost an entire week in Sweetwater, TN (near Knoxville) speaking in public schools and churches.  Please be in prayer for me and my family as we continue to walk in faith and obedience.

We are praying for favor and equipment for the video side of Catching Creation as we personally do not own any equipment of our own.  The Lord has allowed me to borrow people and gear over the last few years but we feel that if Catching Creation's video side of the ministry is to move forward in the direction we pray it will then we will need support both financially as well as people willing to donate time to help us in the field.  I have laid all of this before the Lord and have decided not to film any more videos in the field for Catching Creation until we hear clearly from the Lord about what we are to do next.  We do believe that once we raise enough money or are provided with a professional camera/cameras (ie Canon DSLR, Canon XhA1, XF100, Sony EX 1, etc) then we will know it is time to resume production.  I have been striving and working really hard for years on this with no gear of my own and I am truly blessed to have had friends that supported us along the way with their gear but I feel like in order to grab and go and film more often we will need our own equipment.  Please pray with us as we seek the Lord on this.

Thank you so much for your prayers and please continue to share our videos from the youtube channel: http:www.youtube.com/CatchingCreation and feel free to visit the store http://catchingcreation.wordpress.com/support-catching-creation/ if you would like to get a copy of our books or DVDs and if you would like to donate in any way you can send a payment to CatchingCreation@yahoo.com on Paypal.

I am available to come speak at your church, school, youth group and etc so please feel free to shoot me an email at CatchingCreation@yahoo.com and I will get back to you promptly and can tailor fit a live animal presentation to your needs.  I'm very excited about all the Lord is doing and I hope you are as well!

Catching Creation On The Road Episode...Creation Museum

We decided to take Catching Creation on the road and check out some of our friends at the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio. We talked with our friend Rick Teepen of the snakes alive program, toured the museum, checked out Rick's animals, sat in on a show with Buddy Davis and Dan "the Animal Man" Breeding and we even got to hear some cool didgeridoo from Chance. Great trip. Please forgive the quality on some of the clips as we couldn't exactly set things up polished, I hope you forgive us and let the content speak over the quality.